Why the Web is not the Same as Desktop Publishing

by tmhr consulting

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It is interesting that at this time we are still having to make graphic designers understand that website designs created in Photoshop or inDesign or Quark etc. might not look exactly the same on the web.

The graphic design process is very complex and creates specific designs to solve very specific problems. But many times the graphic designers come from a print environment and they don’t always understand all the differences that a web environment presents.

The look and feel of a design does not always translate into proper or efficient usability on a website.

Sometimes a great looking design will not translate well on the web and therefore the needed changes must be communicated to the designer along with the reason for those changes.

On the other hand, many programmers do not see the need nor understand why it is important to make sure the design is applied to the website as closely as possible. At times, there will be situations when the programmer will not see the differences between the actual design and how it has been presented on the website.

So when you are dealing with an issue where the graphic designer is complaining about why the web page display does not match the design documents and the programmer is complaining because the design does not translate well to the website you will understand why they both need to be listened to and communicated with while you help them work out the differences.

When this happens the easiest and simplest way to get clarification is to explain this differences between the design documents and the website pages. Sometimes the programmer has looked at the web pages so many times that they truly cannot see the differences. Other times, the programmer might see the differences but understand why they are so important.

One of the tools to use when this happens is something as simple as a copy of the web page and a copy of the web page design and a description of the differences that need to be addressed.

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The other issue the designers need to understand is that the designer is usually only dealing with one vendor like Adobe or Quark.

But the web developer has to deal with not only the different programming languages but the have to also deal with the differences between browser vendors, operating system vendors, different versions of browsers, and different settings and add-ons for those browsers.

The bottom line is that most of the issues that graphic designers have with programmers and vice versa are issues that can be resolved through communication, because the graphic designer and the programmer might as well be talking in a different language because they are worried about different issues and they use different terminology.

The graphic designer is worried about fonts, colours, focal points, content and making sure all the objects are positioned appropriately.

The programmer is worried about coding, CSS, Java Script, object positioning , content implementation and display, browsers , etc.

It is therefore understandable that they would find it hard to communicate their requirements to one another.

If Language Is The Challenge, Translation Is The Solution.

One of the most important roles a good project manager can play is that of translator. The project manager understands both the language of the web and of design and should be able to translate back and forth.

Having a project manager running the development process will ensure that even though the designer and the programmer may not understand each other’s language or processes, common ground can always be maintained and the project will both move forward and the results produced will be optimal.

Have you run into this problem before? If so, how did you solve it? Please share your experience in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

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